Ference: 'Laughable' to think Thomas is a distraction to Bruins


Ference: 'Laughable' to think Thomas is a distraction to Bruins

WILMINGTON Tim Thomas once again skipped out of a media session Monday when the subject of Washington D.C., and the goaltenders decision to boycott the White House, came up.
Thomas cracked a big smile, made a flip comment about being happy to be relieved of his media responsibilities, and walked away from his locker.
He's used to the questions by now, and its clear hes not going to answer any of them. Some of that is Thomas personal choice as an individual, and some of that is the Bruins asking their opinionated goaltender to keep quiet until the season is over.
Boston's surprise first-round matchup with the Capitals may resurrect the issue, especially with national media and reporters from Washington, since it'll bring Thomas back to the scene of the incident. The big issue for the Bruins, though, is how it affects the team at a time of year when they need a laser focus on the task at hand.
The answer is: It won't.
Nobody really cares, said Andrew Ference with a genuine laugh. If anybody asks us about the White House, were just going to say that we had a good time. Thats my answer. When it was all going down, it was people reacting outside of the Boston market. For us that have been teammates with Thomas, it wasnt a big deal. Thats just who he is."
When it comes to polar political opposites, it would be hard to beat Tea Party hero Tim Thomas and carbon-footprint conscious Andrew Ference. They hold absolutely different world views and conflicting political beliefs.
But theyre on the same page when it comes to the success of the Boston Bruins.
The people who think Thomas' actions are an issue with his teammates, says Ference, "dont know anything about us, about how the room works, how the personalities and the dynamics work within the team. Its a joke. Im sure its interesting to talk about or put on the radio. But it doesnt affect any one of us.
Nor, he added, did it ever.
Its not like it threw a monkey wrench into the dressing room," said Ference of the midseason controversy. "Thomas has been like that his whole life. Hes a teammate to us, and thats it. As crazy as some people think his beliefs are, there are people that think the same thing about me. There are people that loved what he did and there are people that love what I do. There are two sides to the coin, so . . . whatever.
Ference drew a parallel between the White House saga and an incident two years ago, when an NHLPA-fueled rift between Ference and Mark Recchi was supposed to have been pulling the team apart.
"Media reports were trying to say the same thing a couple of years ago, that I was killing the team. Its all BS, said Ference. The guys in the locker room think its almost laughable.
"Usually the people that are beating the drum on that stuff are the people that are never in this room."
Sooner or later, Thomas play will do all of the talking for him against Washington . . . for better or worse. Thats all that the Bs goaltender and his teammates are hoping for as the playoff spotlight gets ready to shine on them Thursday night.

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner


Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.